A Conversation with the Lord
February 3, 2022
If I were to summarize my experience in the Holy Land in three words, they would be exciting, prayerful, and educational. I want to focus on the second one for this blog post. Prayer in the life of a Christian is as essential as salt is to food. First, what is prayer but a conversation with God—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—our Blessed Mother, and the saints. But how do we pray? Prayer could be prescribed, such as the Our Father, Hail Mary, the Rosary, and the Creed, among others. I certainly had a devotional prayer life before entering seminary, not that anything is wrong with it, but I was introduced to different ways of praying.
In doing so, my relationship with Jesus has grown and matured. One of my favorite types of prayer is the Augustinian prayer or prayer of transposition. In the prayer of transposition, we take a passage from the Bible and read it carefully a couple of times. Then, within that passage, we find the names or pronouns and substitute those with our name or me or I. In this way, we imagine ourselves in the Bible and the Bible passages talking to us now. For example, we can take the passage on the apparition of the Angel to the shepherds (Luke 2:9-12): “The Angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of God shone around them, and they were struck with great fear.”
The Angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David, a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a Manger.'”
Now, let us transpose it…
The Angel of the Lord appeared to Jesus Raya, and the glory of God shone around me, and I was struck with great fear. The Angel said to me, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David, a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for Jesus Raya: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a Manger.
It was impactful for me when I first tried to pray this way, but being in the Holy Land, this type of prayer has brought my relationship with Jesus and scripture to a whole new dimension. Prayer changes our perspective. I invite you to try this at home—and reach out with any questions. In each of the holy places we have visited, we have prayed for the intentions in our hearts and offered those you have asked us to pray for.
Jesus Raya Custodio
Archdiocese of Chicago